By Agency Report On Jan 4, 2022
Nineteen members of Turkey’s Uyghur Muslim population on Tuesday have filed a complaint with a Turkish prosecutor against Chinese officials, accusing them of a string of crimes targeting the ethnic minority group, Reuters reported on Tuesday.
The complaint was a necessity due to the failure of international bodies to act against Chinese authorities, lawyer Gülden Sönmez told Reuters, who are accused of crimes against humanity and genocide in Xinjiang, a large region in the country’s north-west which is home to ethnically Turkic Muslim minority group.
The complaint filed with the Istanbul Chief Prosecutor’s Office relates to 116 people who the complainants say are still detained in China and was filed against 112 people, including members of China’s Communist Party, as well as directors and officers at labour camps.
China has detained more than one million Uyghurs against their will since 2016, in what it calls “re-education camps”, while sentenced hundreds of thousands to prison terms. Beijing is also accused forced labour and the forcible sterilisation of Uyghur women.
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have published reports accusing China of crimes against humanity targeting the group, while a number of countries, including the United States, have accused it of genocide.
Beijing, for its part, denies the allegations of human rights abuses against the Uyghurs, claiming camps are part of an effort to combat separatism and Islamist militancy in the region.
The criminal complaint filed with the Istanbul Chief Prosecutor’s Office accuses Chinese officials of committing genocide, torture, rape and crimes against humanity, Reuters said.
“The international criminal court should have already started this trial, but China is a member of the (United Nations) Security Council and it does not seem possible within this dynamic,” Sönmez told the agency.